General Aptitude Test (GAT)

 General Aptitude Test (GAT)


The GAT is a test that targets secondary school graduates who wish to pursue their studies in institutions of higher education. It measures several aspects that are related to the educational process, such as a student's analytical and deductive skills. The test is composed of two sections: verbal (language-related) and quantitative (mathematic).​


GAT measures analytical and deductive skills. It focuses on testing the general  ability for learning regardless of any specific skill in a certain subject or topic. The test is offered in Arabic.

The weight allocated to GAT as an admission requirement varies from one university to another. It typically ranges between 30% and 40%, while the remaining percentage is distributed between high school GPA and SAAT, if applicable.

GAT Objectives:

This test aims to measure a student's analytical and deductive skills. It focuses on testing a student's general  ability for learning through measuring the following:

  • reading comprehension ability.
  • ability to recognize logical relations.
  • ability to solve problems based on basic mathematical concepts.
  • inference ability
  • measuring ability.

GAT Sections:
The test is divided into two sections: verbal and quantitative.

First: The verbal section which includes the following.
Reading comprehension: Ability to read, comprehend and analyze texts through answering questions based on the content of such texts.    .
Sentence completion: Ability to fill in the missing parts of short texts to make complete meaningful sentences using deductive and analytical abilities..
Verbal analogy: Ability to identify the relation between a pair of words given at the beginning of the test item against  a set of pairs given in the choices and determine the matching pair.
Contextual error: Ability to understand the general meaning of a sentence, and then identify the word whose meaning is not consistent with the context of the general meaning.
Relationship and difference: Ability to understand the relationship that links three choices to each other and determine the different choice, or identify the most relevant relationship from the given choices that can be linked to the beginning of the test item.

Second: The quantitative section which includes mathematical problems appropriate for the aptitude test according to high school major (science / arts). It focuses on assessment, inference and problem solving skills and requires only basic knowledge. For the science major, the test items are divided as follows :
  • Arithmetic questions  36 %
  • Geometry questions 18 %
  • Algebra questions 10 %
  • Statistical and analytical questions 18 %
  • Comparison questions 18%

For the arts major students, the test  includes items on basic arithmetic, geometry and mathematical analysis. The percentage of such items is lower than that for the science major.

More information:
  • Some trial questions are included in both the verbal and the quantitative sections but they do not calculate towards the final score.
  • ​Questions alternate between the verbal type and the quantitative type in all test parts. A 25-minute period is allocated for each part.
  • The number of items is fixed in all tests and so are the sections, parts and time duration. Items, however, vary although the same difficulty standard is maintained. To ensure the validity and reliability of the test , test scores are compared to those of the previous tests.
  • Questions are arranged in order of difficulty from the easiest to the more difficult in each section. Students should answer questions fast enough to cover them all within the limits of the required time.(25minutes per section)

A student should not leave any question unanswered.

Guessing by elimination is one strategy that can be followed while answering questions.​

The test does not depend directly on information obtained by the student from curricula except for basic mathematical and linguistic principles. Therefore, it does not require prior preparation, but depends on general knowledge and accumulated life experiences. Students should familiarize themselves the test 

items formats and the best way for responding to them. The test does not require complex calculations; it relies on simple numbers and simple mental calculation. To do well on the test, students are advised to acquaint themselves with the test and all its aspects through consulting the following resources 

GAT timetable:
The NCA holds the GAT twice, one time during the first semester and the second during the second semester. A student may take the test at the time he deems appropriate and in his hometown or nearest town to his place of residence, keeping in mind that the test is held in the morning and the evening.

Morning : The test starts at 07:30 am at all test sites. One should be at the test site at least half an hour prior to the start of the test. Those arriving after 7:30 am will not be allowed to enter the test room.

Evening: The test begins half an hour (30 minutes) after Maghreb Athan (call for prayer)  at all test centers in all cities and towns according to Umm Al-Qura calendar. Students may be admitted to the test room within an hour from the time of Athan and no student may be admitted after that.

Registration for the computerized test is open at all times throughout the year.

General guidelines:
  • Follow the NCA website for information on test sites and dates.
  • Be sure to be in the test site at the time and date specified in the registration form. As soon as you arrive at the test site, go to the supervisor of your test group in the reception committee to review your papers and documents and verify satisfaction of required  conditions. You will then be allowed to enter the test room and be directed to sit in a pre-defined seat.
  • Once all students are admitted into the test hall, test booklets will be distributed and you will be instructed to write your personal information on one side and the answer sheet will be on the back side. Listen carefully to instructions given by the hall supervisor on how to fill in the form. After that, all students will be instructed to open the test booklets and start answering the test.
  • If you have any questions raise your hand  and a supervisor will soon attend  to your question.
  • All test items  are multiple choices (A, B, C, D). Use HB2 pencil to fill in the blanks. Students are encouraged to bring in HB2 pencils and a sharpeners. Use of fountain or ball-point pens is strictly forbidden.
  • ​In case of paper-format test, there will be around 60 minutes between entering the test room and commencement of the test. Student need to be ready for sitting for three hours and half. Computer-based test requires only 15 minutes prior to the commencement of the test. Students should  expect  to be seated for about two hours and 45 minutes.
  • GAT is divided into six sections . Each section is allotted only 25 minutes. The test supervisor will announce the start and end of each  section. During the 25-minute period allowed for a particular section, you may answer and review your answers on that section only. You are not allowed to move to the previous or following section. Failure to comply with such instructions will result in termination of your test.
  • If not satisfied with his score, a student may sit for the test more than one time, but in different sessions.​

Some universities and colleges require this test for admission in addition to other procedures that vary from one institution to another. Applicants to such universities and colleges must take the test. This includes high school graduates of both the arts and science sections.​​

Upon completion of test administration, answers are scored via automatic scoring machines and results are analyzed. Examinees’ personal information is checked and verified at the NCA’ headquarters in Riyadh. Test results are expected to be announced within three weeks from the examination date.

GAT is not a pass-fail test. The examinee receives a score (out of 100 points) which has a certain value at the agency where Gat score is a requirement. GAT score is not to be compared with the percentage obtained in the high school graduation test or other tests. Each test has its own specific goals. 

What is important is the examinee’s rank among the group of examinees taking the same test, in accordance with the following:

  • Student's score                        Student's rank
  • 81 or higher             higher than  5% of examinees
  • 78 or higher             higher than 10% of examinees
  • 73 or higher             higher than 20% of examinees
  • 70 or higher             higher than 30% of examinees
  • 65                                average
  • 60 or lower              lower than 30% of examinees

GAT results will be delivered electronically to the relevant universities and colleges. (For students with multiple test attempts, the highest score is delivered.) Applicants are not required to submit  paper documents of the result. For individuals, the score is sent via SMS massage to the mobile number filed with the NCA. Test results may also be accessed through NCA website or calling the unified phone number( 920033555 )​

Register for the test

Test Centers in the Kingdom and Abroad

To access test centers, click here.

The difference between GAT and SAAT

  • GAT

GAT is designed to measure understanding, application, deduction, and analysis skills and abilities in the fields of language and mathematics. The test targets the cognitive abilities that develop over the years with education and reading. Thus, it does not rely on abstract knowledge. 

  • SAAT

SAAT (Science) measures student academic achievement in the following subjects: mathematics, chemistry, physics, and biology.

SAAT (Arts) measures student academic achievement in the following subjects: monotheism, hadith, jurisprudence, grammar, literature, rhetoric, history, and geography.

The following identification documents are required for admission to the test

يمكنك الدخول للاختبار بأي من الوثائق الآتية: • الهوية الوطنية للسعوديين والإقامة لغير السعوديين . • جواز السفر الشخصي . • رخصة السياقة السعودية .

Retaking the GAT

اختبار القدرات العامة خمس فرص لجميع الطلاب والطالبات من الصف الثاني ثانوي فأعلى، تتنوع في اختبارات ورقية ورقمية، علماً بأن الحد الأعلى لدخول كلٍ من الورقي و الرقمي 4 فرص فقط.

Validity of Test Results

Test results are valid for 5 years. Relevant bodies may be consulted for the validity periods they enforce.

Rescheduling and Cancellation

  • Paper-based test: up to 72 hours before the test date
  • Computerized test: up to 48 hours before the test date

Test Fees

Paper-based test:

  • Early registration: SR 100
  • Late registration: SR 150

Computerized test:

  • SR 150

Issuance of Results

تعلن نتائج الاختبارات الورقية بعد حوالي شهر من انتهاء فترة الاختبار . يستغرق ظهور نتائج الاختبارات الرقمية 5 أيام عمل من تاريخ عقد الاختبار.


Those who are unable to register for the test must contact beneficiary services and file an IT support request (Exceptional Test) via the e-portal or smart phone application.

If an applicant does not have a Civil Record

Applicants who do not have a Civil Record may obtain an exceptional Record by following the instructions by clicking here.

General Provisions

  • Saudi uniform is requested for the test
  • Test duration: 2 hours and 30 minutes to 3 hours
  • Using calculators during the test is not permitted
  • Using drafts is not permitted in paper-based tests
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